There are several options for hair removal. Depilatory creams, shaving, waxing, personal and laser hair removal devices are all common selections. With the exception of a laser device, each of the options can be done at home. Shaving is the least effective as it lasts no more than a day before stubble grows back. Depilatory creams can burn the skin and waxing is painful, though both remove hair for a short time. Personal hair removal devices claim to perform as well as laser hair removal appliances. The fact is that the personal machines do not work nearly as well as those in a clinic. They are not as strong as medical lasers in order for personal use tools to be safe for use in the home. Only certified, trained technicians may operate laser equipment and the devices are too expensive to purchase for personal use. In this case, clinical procedures last far longer than treatments at home.
Non-Ablative Skin Resurfacing
The term non-ablative refers to treatments that do not damage the surface of the skin. There are several treatments that accomplish this, including radio frequency, ultrasound technology, and laser procedures. Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to heat the dermal layer of skin and stimulates collagen production and healing while causing the skin to contract. Radio frequency procedures do the same by using sound waves. Lasers also do the same by using light-based energy. So what is the difference? Ultherapy has been FDA approved only for use on the face, jowls, décolletage, and neck to remove fine lines and wrinkles. Radio frequency works well with fine lines and wrinkles in the face and neck and may also reduce sagging in the arms. Lasers work well on fine to moderate wrinkles. Do not expect immediately noticeable results as collagen production takes time and results may continue for many months after the initial treatment.
Ablative Skin Resurfacing
The term ablative refers to treatments that intentionally damage the surface of the skin in order to stimulate natural healing of the skin cells. Facial peels are done by applying a chemical acid to the surface of the skin and range in strength from mild to strong. The deeper the peel, the longer the recovery time will be, but also the more impressive the final result will be. Laser skin resurfacing uses light energy to target and vaporize skin cells in a controlled manner to uncover healthier skin cells beneath. Dermabrasion uses a handheld tool with an abrasive sanding wheel on one end that rubs the skin to exfoliate the cells. Each of these methods involves recovery time that can last a couple weeks, depending on how deep the treatment is. Once the skin heals, the results are pretty noticeable. The end results last anywhere from six months to as much as two years.
The Right Choice
Now that you know how some of these treatment work, you can make a more informed choice. Before scheduling an appointment, review the facts with your primary care doctor or dermatologist to be sure it is the right treatment for your skin care needs.
Laser hair removal really appeals to me, my hair grows back thick and fast and it can be a pain when on holiday. I’d love it on my legs and armpits!